By Andy J. Gordon
A culinary, wine and agave spirits event in the heart of downtown Los Angeles celebrated Baja Mexico’s wine region on Saturday June 30, 2018. The festival in the courtyard next to Chicas Tacos on Olive Street featured authentic tacos from several renowned local and Mexican chefs. Guests enjoyed the tacos with a fine selection of Baja wineries, top shelf tequilas and artisanal mezcals. The all-you-can-eat party included live music and a DJ spinning tunes. Proceeds from the event benefited COTAS and Skid Row Housing Trust.
The master chefs at Baja Market LA offered some excellent taco varieties. Tijuana chef Guillermo “Oso” Campos Moreno of Kokopelli & Tras/Horizonte prepared delicious grilled octopus tacos smothered in both green and red salsas. Chef Javier Plascencia of Caffe Severios, Mision 19, Caesar’s, Finca Altozano and nine others throughout Baja and San Diego offered delicate grilled seabass tacos. The flaky fish was paired with a serrano chicharron salsa, pickled beech mushrooms and watercress.
Eduardo Ruiz, the Executive Chef at Chicas Tacos served pork tacos with green chilis, chicharron, roasted tomatillo salsa, caramelized onions and cilantro. For the vegetarians in the house, he prepared grilled cauliflower tacos with delicate seasonings and creamy, melted cheese. Chef Gilberto Cetino Jr. of Chichen Itza and Holbox grilled whole omego blue baja Kampachi over mesquite coals and served the buttery fish with fresh corn tortillas, morita mayo, cabbage, avocado puree and pickled red onions.
The wineries at the festival from Mexico’s Baja region offered a wide range of selections. Fine choices were available from Cavas Valmar, Bodegas F Rubio, Vino De La Reina, Vena Cava, Las Nubes and Vinasterra. While the wine selections were impressive, we were particularly drawn to the high-end tequila and mezcal being poured.
Our favorites included the excellent blanco and reposado tequilas from Fortaleza, Nosotros and Corazon. The blanco tequila from Siete Leguas was especially tasty. The selection of quality mezcals was impressive as well. Complex and enjoyable choices were offered by Ōme Spirits, Del Maguey and Lo Verás.
The celebration of the culinary, wine and agave spirits of Mexico concluded with hundreds of guests completely stuffed and satisfied. Everyone got more than their money’s worth and helped support two local charities.